Having done its damndest to limit women’s access to “the pill,” due to the alpha male assumption that not having to worry about becoming pregnant turns American women into “sluts,” “prostitutes” and “feminazis” (to borrow a few polite terms from that oracle of wisdom and tolerance, Rush Limbaugh), the Grand Old Party has now set its sights on preventing women from using more mundane medicines, like aspirin.
While this may seem completely and utterly ridiculous at first glance, it actually makes perfect sense to Republican theocrats. After all, if it’s clearly wrong to defy God’s will that women become pregnant as often as possible, then it is also obviously wrong to defy his will that they suffer as much as possible. The Bible clearly says that women’s labor pains are the express will of God, so how can Bible-believing doctors and nurses be allowed to give women aspirin, epidurals and other pain relievers?
If God wants women to suffer the most excruciating pains imaginable, then by God the GOP’s evangelicals are duty-bound to make that happen!
Freedom of religion as interpreted by conservative Christians demands that doctors with religious beliefs be allowed to deny women abortions and contraceptives, so of course freedom of religion also demands that doctors and nurses who believe the Bible should also be allowed to deny women pain relievers. And while they’re at it, they should also be able to either murder or sexually enslave girls who have been raped, since this was the express commandment of the great Hebrew prophet Moses, in Deuteronomy 22. Hell, they should even be able to sell their own daughters as sex slaves, with the option to buy them back if they don’t “please” their new masters — also the commandment of Moses in Exodus 21.
It all makes perfect sense, once we understand God’s perspective on the fairer sex: that they are fair game. This latest Republican attack on women is the only possible logical conclusion of alpha males reading and furiously believing an infallible holy text that treats women like chattels. If Yahweh wanted “men of God” like Moses, Joshua, Caleb and King David to either slaughter or enslave women, then obviously He has it out for women, probably because He’s still ticked off at Eve for eating the forbidden fruit.
This of course explains the antipathy “men of God” have had for women, through the ages.
Yahweh didn’t say that men have to suffer but only to sweat when they work, so the GOP will continue to allow men to use pain relievers. (Male chauvinists are amazingly good at locating and believing Bible verses that only affect women, homosexuals and people of other religions.)
So there you have it. The minute Rick Santorum is sworn into office, you can expect him to sign legislation that denies women the right to abortion, contraceptives and aspirin.
Now you may think that I’m pulling your leg — and I am — but this really is the way Republicans seem to “think” these days. First, they find a Bible verse that appeals to them. (Never one of the good verses about the rich helping the poor or men like themselves avoiding hypocrisy.) Then they “believe” in the verse furiously until it hurts — not only their tiny, impaired brains but the whole planet. Thus, “be fruitful and multiply” becomes “breed mindlessly like rabbits and never use contraceptives because only God is allowed to determine when babies will be born.”
The theocrats can never question their a priori assumption that the Bible is infallible, because if the Bible isn’t infallible, we all have to fall back on listening to our hearts and using our powers of reason. The truly puzzling thing is why they keep choosing to believe in the worst possible verses.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.